Saturday, April 8, 2017

Is there enough instructions and support?

The way I have set up my class site is so that students can move ahead onto tasks when they are ready and not have to wait for the teacher.

I have found a problem with this during this last week.

I have one student doing NCEA Level 2 DVC who is one of those students who likes to be ahead, tells me he has done it and immediately wants my opinion.
Normally in the form of an email like this last one.... (or he shouts it at me across the quad!!)

This should be great!
But it isn't great and I've realised that I don't have enough support on my site for this situation even though I thought that I had.

We have been working on this activity in small teams of 2, after going over it together as a class.

The students have to find news articles that were happening during their chosen design era. This will then lead them onto working through 2 more activities where they analyse how the social events of the time affected the design work of the time. 
These next two activities are here on the class site.
Here is what the student I am talking about sent to me this week :-
The fact collection went well. We did this activity in the class and he had my support during the whole thing.

Then he went ahead onto the site and did the next activity in his own time.

This one should be looking at the effects of the news event on society and so on the design work of the time.
What he has focussed on is facts about the sinking of the Titanic.
This is still at surface level fact collection ( multistructural) and has not moved onto relational at all.
Where I am delighted that this student is doing lots of work in his own time, I don't want him to be wasting that time just because I have not explained and supported the activities in enough detail.

The key points at fault and what I need to work on :-
  • Not enough instructions  / explanation with the task to know what to do, so I need to include more explanation boxes on the side like I have started doing with the first activity.

  • No examples to show what it could look like (using a different example of a design era that none of the students are using).
  • The students found working together on activities in the last standard really helpful so should I encourage them to post straight into the class community when they start an activity in their own time. Then they can get support form me and other members of the class as they work on their own. After my last reading about SOLO and Forum style working, this is definite possibility.
  • Would short screen casts help with me explaining and doing an example as I talk about what i am doing and why. Thing Link is also a possibility for this as I could highlight different parts of the activity with written explanations, examples and videos.
Although I am not looking forward to telling him that we have to work on this some more, I am pleased that it has come up, as the outcome will benefit all of my students.

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